The Buffalo Bills wrapped up their offseason program this week and won’t take the field again until late July for the start of training camp. At St. John Fisher, most fans will focus on the team’s starting offense and defense to see how both units look heading into 2016. While both units will be worth watching, training camp is a great time to watch for sleepers who could surprise fans and make the team’s 53-man roster.
After the offseason program, here’s a look at three players who could “steal” a roster spot with the Bills.
James Wilder Jr., RB
Wilder very impressive during the team’s offseason program. He was so impressive that Bills head coach Rex Ryan specifically mentioned the back.
Wilder will need to carry his strong play over to training camp. Running back is quite possibly the deepest position the Bills have on their roster. LeSean McCoy, Karlos Williams, Jonathan Williams, and Mike Gillislee are all talented backs and the first two are locks to make the roster. Buffalo carrying four running backs wouldn’t be much of a surprise, so Wilder Jr. may have to beat out Jonathan Williams or Gillislee to make the final 53-man roster.
He’s made a good first impression, but he’ll need to take his play to another level at training camp.
Blake Annen, TE
Annen received some praise throughout Buffalo’s offseason program and BuffaloBills.com recently wrote a feature on the tight end. In the article, Annen’s athleticism is discussed.
“He’s a very gifted athlete,” said Bills TEs coach Tony Sparano Jr. “His speed, his athleticism are there for all to see. But the fact that he’s able to pair that with his work ethic and with being as coachable as he is and being a student of the game that he is, is why I’m a big believer in his ability and his potential.”
Charles Clay is the only tight end who’s roster spot is guaranteed at this point. Jim Dray has a good chance of sticking as the team’s blocking tight end, but Annen has a chance to win the team’s third tight end job against the likes of Chris Gragg and Nick O’Leary.
If Annen outperforms this duo at training camp, he’ll have a great chance of sticking on Buffalo’s roster.
This trio didn’t necessarily do anything to stand out during the team’s offseason program, and two are recent signings, but the right tackle position seems to be a bit of a mess.
Jordan Mills looks to be the favorite to win the right tackle job. He’s far from an ideal candidate, but he’s serviceable.
Seantrel Henderson was in attendance at mandatory minicamp but he wasn’t on the field. The offensive tackle stuck to working out on an exercise bike and elliptical. Henderson will look to get his weight and strength back up after a battle with Crohn’s disease before training camp, but there’s no telling how effective he’ll be.
Cyrus Kouandjio is entering a make or break training camp and he didn’t fare well during mandatory minicamp.
Perhaps Enemkpali has really improved since the end of 2015, but Kouandjio is far from a roster lock.
The Bills don’t seem thrilled about the right tackle position and Lucas, Renfrow, and Martin all have a chance to impress the coaching staff at training camp to show they can provide depth behind Cordy Glenn and Mills.null